India – A country where everything sells under the tag ‘sex’

It’s always easy to target one particular thing and bombard it with reasons for everything that is going wrong. This is what has always been going on in our nation. That they blame it on the clothes has been a popular issue about the culture of victim blaming in our country. I wonder why that is. I mean, why blame it only on the clothes?

Why are soaps, body sprays, lip balms, mattresses, shower gels, jewellery, eyeliners, bathroom tiles and furniture exempt from taking a share of this blame game? If you haven’t been away from the television for a couple of years now, the connection between ordinary household objects and sex will start to appear obvious. Advertising makes even sunflower oil appear as deflower oil and using detergent sometimes calls forth a beefy cartoonish man dressed in a body suit with bulging assets to attend to the woes of a lonely deserted housewife having trouble washing clothes. And yet, dignified public representatives and public servants keep shaming themselves by bringing the focus back on clothes over and over again.

Suppose the television were to have a mind of its own and could have chosen what to broadcast and what not to. And suppose you, the intellectual judgemental Indian, sat up for an entire weekend to see and to judge. How exactly would you have classified the television’s personality? If you would have termed it as being a neurotic sex obsessed psychopath then yes, we are in complete agreement.

There was someone who said once that advertisements were not meant to sell products, they are meant to sell dreams. The tremendous increase in the amount of crimes that are being committed against women and children have gave rise to a feeling of vulnerability. In the wake of these we have commercials of shapely jeans and two wheelers that stand for a woman’s freedom and the spirit of adventure. It’s a dream, futile nevertheless.

On the other hand linking up everything with sex the way commercials do can be unhealthy for the psyche of the Indian masses which is not in its healthiest states anyway. Besides it’s extremely weird for a country to have advertisements of aphrodisiacs after every news headlines while the nation struggles to make up its mind about sex education.

We are a land of paradoxes, this has been said over and over again. But our television, our cinemas make the chasm seem ever so wider. I am not arguing for a censorship, but I am arguing for a self-reflection on our part. How are we affected by the sex obsessed advertisement industry, how are we moulded based on what commercials regularly, subtly feed to us. Why are even educational institutions being advertised with images of a good looking female in trendy clothes? Will it be soon that we begin to associate even education with sex?

Food for thought.

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